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Tests Show Decline in Salmonella Poisoning

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WASHINGTON, Nov 25, 2003 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- The rate of salmonella poisoning dropped 66 percent in the past six years and 16 percent compared with 2002, the Department of Agriculture said Tuesday.

Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman said in a statement, "The Bush administration is committed to protecting the public health and improving our food safety systems."

"These results show that we are making progress in our efforts to enhance meat and poultry inspection systems. This is good news for consumers," she said.

The USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service is the public health regulatory agency responsible for ensuring that meat, poultry and egg products are safe and accurately labeled. FSIS has more than 8,000 inspection personnel stationed in meat and poultry plants across the nation to ensure compliance with federal laws and regulations.

FSIS collects and analyzes salmonella samples in seven categories of raw meat and poultry as one way to verify compliance with food safety requirements.

Copyright 2003 by United Press International.

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